NWETC Offers Carbon Accounting & Climate Strategy Courses

The Northwest Environmental Training Center is holding a three-day Carbon Accounting and Climate Strategy series on July 14, 15 and 16.

The Carbon Series – Carbon Accounting and Climate Strategy

July 14-16, 2010, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Northwest Environmental Training Center, 650 South Orcas Street, Suite 220, Georgetown.

Climate Policy, Carbon Credits, and Business Risk

SUST-406 – July 14

This workshop will provide a thorough background for understanding the interconnected web of climate and energy policies emerging at the national, state, regional and municipal levels. The workshop will also cover the latest congressional discussions regarding proposed federal climate and energy legislation.  Registration: $250/$195*

Managing Carbon: Footprints, Risk, and Climate Action for Business and Government

SUST-407 – July 15

This workshop will provide a conceptual understanding of carbon footprint processes, enabling participants to better manage footprints and understand the results. Various aspects of “climate risk,” including new regulations, reporting requirements, and physical changes in climate, will be linked to carbon footprints and climate action steps for immediate, mid-term, and long-term implementation.  Registration: $250/$195*

Carbon Footprints, Step by Step

SUST-408 – July 16

This workshop will provide concrete tools for conducting a GHG inventory (or carbon footprint) of a corporation, municipal or county government, or other entity. The structure of the day will follow the entire process of carbon footprinting. In particular, this workshop will review the state of mandatory reporting in Oregon and Washington.  Registration: $250/$195*

The intended audience for these courses is public- and private-sector staff who:

  • Must conduct a GHG inventory or interpret and disseminate the results of one
  • Seek strategic guidance around emissions management, climate risk, and emerging costs and opportunities
  • Must prepare their organizations for mandatory state-level reporting
  • Seek to develop strategies to respond to climate change legislation and energy policies
  • Seek to include climate concerns in their organization’s agenda

Register for two or more classes and save! These courses may be taken separately or as a series. Receive an additional $50 discount if attending two courses, and $200 discount if attending all three. *Reduced Rates: Reduced tuition rates are available to employees of Native American tribes, government agencies and nonprofits; students; and EOS Alliance organizations.

Register Online Now!

*Reduced Rates: Reduced tuition rates are available to employees of Native American tribes, government agencies and nonprofits; students; and EOS Alliance partners.


The Energy Blog – Fathers Day on a Wind Farm

By Andy Silber

On Father’s Day my wife asked want I wanted to do. I’m such an energy geek that I told her that I wanted to visit one of the wind farms that are popping up near Ellensburg, WA, just across Snoqualmie Pass from Seattle. So we loaded up our son and two dogs and drove two hours along I-90.

But first some history: in 2002 I founded the energy committee of the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club. At this time the nearest windfarm to Seattle was the Stateline project near Walla Walla, over 270 miles away. In 2003 the Sierra Club was contacted by opponents of the Kittitas Valley Wind Project and it landed on my desk. I made it clear to them that I was a proponent of wind power, but they were certain that I would agree with them that this was a bad location for a wind farm, as it would destroy the “pristine wilderness” of the valley. So another committee member and I drove out there to get a tour of the valley from the opponents. The entire time I was thinking about what a perfect place it was for a wind farm. There’s steady wind and power lines running right through a valley that has been filled with farms and ranches for generations. What soon became clear was there were two types of landowners in the valley: farmers and ranchers on one side and urban refuges and land speculators on the other. The farmers and ranchers, especially those who stood to make money on the wind farm, were supporters. All of the opponents had fairly small holdings and were new to the valley. The opponents threw every possible  objection at the project (my favorite was that the wind farm would start fires, something their homes were much more likely to do), but it was just that they didn’t want to look at them. For years the developer worked through the process, including a trip to the state supreme court. The project is now fully permitted, but still not in operation eight years later.

I wanted to return to Kittitas County and see how things had changed for wind power there. Though I couldn’t visit the Kittitas Valley project, another project developed by the same company, the Wild Horse Wind farm has been in operation since 2006, even though it started later. Unlike most wind farms, the Wild Horse project welcomes guests and has a lovely, LEED Gold certified visitor’s center. Though we arrived after the last scheduled tour, one of the tour guides, David Wheeler, was willing to take us out and show us around. We donned hardhats and ventured out into the sun and light wind (by Kittitas Valley standards). He talked about the extensive work they did to protect the native plant species, the solar array that provides most of the energy to power the visitor’s center and the 149 wind turbines that provide 273 MW of electricity when the wind is blowing. While we were there it was what they consider light winds of only 17 mph. Most of the blades were spinning, but the output was only one-quarter of capacity.

Economically these wind farms have been great for Kittitas County. There are 40 people working keeping this wind farm up and running, not counting David and the other tour guides. These are well-paid jobs that can’t be outsourced. And the county not only doesn’t have to hand out tax abatements, but these wind farms are a major source of tax revenues for the county and the state.

All the wind farms operating currently or in construction in Kittitas county can produce about a Giga-Watt of power when the wind is blowing. That’s comparable to a large nuclear power plant. These wind farms cost about $2 a watt to build or about $6 average watt when you factor in that on average they produce about a third of their capacity when you factor in the wind not blowing and maintenance. That’s more than efficiency investments, which is about $2 an average watt, but much cheaper than nuclear which is about $10 an average watt.

But wind does have challenges other than cost and NIMBYs. The big one is integration. How do you keep the electrical grid working when the wind isn’t blowing? The more wind you add to the grid the harder it is to integrate the next Mega-Watt. The other is transmission. Most people live far from where the wind is blowing and it’s going to take a major investment to get the energy from North Dakota to Miami. Wind farms spread across the country help both issues.

So, how did you spend your Father’s Day?

Food & Fitness Hosting Multiculturalism Workshops

The King County Food & Fitness Initiative is excited to be able to host 3 upcoming free workshops on communication and multiculturalism. . It is not required that you attend all three workshops. Each workshop will be held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

For questions about accommodations and workshop content, contact maggie.anderson@kingcounty.gov.

To register go to https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDRTUnJHOXBMTWJwTFdGTzFtcTVaUGc6MQ

The Workshop schedule:

Monday, June 28 – 3:00 – 5:30 pm: Cross-Cultural Communications – Understanding Power and Perception in Reform and Engagement Efforts (During this session, we will explore the ways actual power and the perception of power influences reform and community engagement efforts. We will discuss the Communication approaches that work best based on individual and collective power when building, managing and participating in KCFFI efforts.)

Monday, July 12 – 3:00 – 6:00 pm: Cross-Cultural Communications – Multicultural Practices, Processes and Procedures (During this session, we will explore the cultural flexibility of KCFFI practices, processes and procedures. We will recommend changes to each based on our findings and group discussions.)

Wednesday, July 21 – 3:00 – 5:30 pm: Cross-Cultural Communications – Working Within the Cultures of Class (Once we explore the challenges of power, perception and multicultural practices, processes and procedures, we will delve into communication challenges specifically related to class.)

We hope that those Collaborative Partners, youth, & Delridge and White Center community members interested in developing their capacity for leadership in creating positive change will attend.


Become a Garden Educator at Weeklong Tilth Workshop

Teach Young People How to Grow Food and Care for the Earth

Seattle Tilth is offering an intensive week-long summer session of the Garden Educators Workshop in Seattle, July 19-23.

This exciting workshop allows anyone interested in garden education to immerse themselves in the organic garden classroom during a full week of education.

Spend five days at Seattle Tilth’s community learning garden exploring a wide variety of skills and techniques for cultivating and maintaining a schoolyard garden. We highly encourage teams of three or more people from a school or garden project to attend this workshop to strengthen your program.

Garden Educators Workshop July 19-23 (Monday through Friday), 8:00 am through 3:00 pm at the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N., Room 202.

Course registration is $200 before June 28 and $225 after June 28. Advance registration and payment is required.

Register and find more info on our website: http://seattletilth.org/learn/classes-and-workshops/garden-educator-workshops.  For more information contact Liza Burke, Communications & Volunteer Manager, Seattle Tilth, R 206-633-0451 ext. 103, or via email at lizaburke@seattletilth.org, or visit the Seattle Tilth website at www.seattletilth.org.

Seattle Tilth inspires and educates people to garden organically, conserve natural resources and support local food systems in order to cultivate a healthy urban environment and community.


Garden Helpers – Connecting New Gardeners with Mentors

Community Harvest of Southwest and Seattle Tilth are excited to offer a new program to train community members to mentor new gardeners in West Seattle and White Center.

If you would like to help others grow their own food, then consider becoming a Garden Helper! Training will consist of a free 5 week, 30 hour course on organic gardening and teaching adults, Thursday evenings (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) and Sundays (9:30 am – 2:00 pm) from May 20 through June 13. Garden Helpers will then volunteer 30 hours (or more!) and help novice gardeners grow their own food. Volunteers should have some vegetable gardening experience, a desire to work with others, and an encouraging attitude.

Seattle Tilth and Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle are also looking for people who want help growing their own food! Trained volunteers will provide free, in-person assistance to help budding gardeners get started in backyard, P-patch, or container gardens.

For more information or to apply visit the Community Harvest website at www.gleanit.org or contact us at info@gleanit.org or 206-762-0604. This project is being funded by a Small and Simple Grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

For more information contact Chris Hoffer, Program Coordinator, Garden Helpers, Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle, 206-963-7852 or hofferc@uw.edu.

July West Seattle Spokespeople Ride: Admiral to Downtown

The ride this month is from West Seattle, North Admiral to Downtown.  The ride meets at Alki Bike and Board, 2606 California Ave. SW at 10:00 am.

This is a stay together ride at a leisurely and easy pace 11.5 miles round trip, with hills..

The route has hills with limited auto traffic utilizing bike paths, bike routes and share roads. Regroups will occur at the top of hills.

Ride Leaders will be Stu Hennessey and Bill Reiswig with middle group support riders. Bike checks and helmet fits will be done prior to the ride. Helmets are required. Steady rain cancels this ride.

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.comIf you live in West Seattle and work downtown you might want to try Bicycle commuting. This ride gives you a chance to tour the routes available and be prepared for daily rides to work and back. If you just like Urban riding on Sunday mornings this is also a good ride for you.  Join Spokespeople West Seattle as we explore the fun of daily commuting on a Sunday. Riders that would like assistance on starting a bicycle commuting plan are encouraged to attend.

For more information contact Stu Hennessey by phone at 206-938-3322 or email at alkistu@hotmail.com.

Urban Food Systems & Social Justice Lecture @ Library

The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s City Green Building program and Cascadia Green Building Council are hosting a Transformational Lecture Series talk on Urban Food Systems & Social Justice with University of Washington urban sociologist Dr. Brandon Born at the Central Library on June 30, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm.  Click here to register online, registration is free for Cascadia members and $10 otherwise.

Dr. Brandon Born’s primary interests are in planning process and policy/decision making, land use, and social justice. He has examined the Growth Management Act and its effects on urban density, and studies food systems in an applied and theoretical manner. He is particularly interested by the political realities that make or break projects. His publications include “Avoiding the Local Trap: Scale and Food Systems in Planning Research” in The Journal of Planning Education and Research.

Learn more at seattle.gov/dpd/greenbuilding or call them today 206-615-1171.


Dexter Ave. Bike Lane Open House @ Seattle Center

The public is invited to attend an open house for the proposed Dexter Ave N separated bike lanes. This project would impact pedestrians and transit users by creating in-lane bus stops and effectively shortening the pedestrian crossings.

PROJECT OPEN HOUSE – Tuesday, June 29th, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm, at Seattle Center Center House, Conference Room A. You may also email your comments to walkandbike@seattle.gov or call 206-684-7583. Come to the project open house to learn more, view design plans, provide feedback and chat with the project team. Drop in at a time that’s convenient for you.

To improve conditions for all users, The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is planning changes along Dexter Avenue N between Mercer Street and Nickerson Street in 2011. This project is part of the “Bridging the Gap” transportation levy approved by Seattle voters.

This project will improve the pavement condition by repaving the street. As part of the repaving project, SDOT is proposing the following changes:

  • Install a parking-protected buffered bike lane on each side of the street
  • Remove the two-way left turn lane
  • Provide dedicated left-turn lanes at busy intersections
  • Provide dedicated load zones for businesses that need them
  • Provide in-lane bus stops to improve transit speed and reliability
  • Install dedicated bus islands
  • [mappress]

Sustainable West Seattle @ Farmers Market

Visit the Sustainable West Seattle booth at the West Seattle Farmers Market.  We’re here to help you with your questions about being more sustainable, about being a bit more green, and we’re here to take your left-over or under-used tools for the West Seattle Tool Library.

Look for us along the alley next to Key Bank.  We’re tabling at the Farmers Market roughly every other Sunday – working with the Farmers Market Alliance folks to keep a non-profit and green presence in the Market area.


Junction Plaza Park Opening June 29, Come One, Come All

Join in the community celebration for the new Junction Plaza Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm. West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA), Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO), Seattle Parks Foundation, and Seattle Parks and Recreation are hosting a festive evening ribbon cutting event for this new gathering space that will include music, an official ribbon cutting and light refreshments.

“This new park will provide opportunities for community gatherings, a place to meet friends, and a place for leisure in the heart of The Junction. The Junction Association and neighborhood groups have been working towards this goal for almost 10 years, and it’s a pleasure to see it underway,” says WSJA Director Susan Melrose.

Erica Karlovits, President of JuNO said, “We are so excited to be able to protect and use the limited green space we have left in our ever growing urban village. The creation of Junction Plaza Park is an incredible addition to our vibrant community.”

Junction Plaza Park, designed by landscape architect Karen Kiest, features a plaza, complete with brick and concrete seating; a lawn with decorative benches; and a central performance area.

All plantings will be Northwest natives, including

  • Vine Maple
  • Northwest Flowering Dogwood
  • Oregon Grape and
  • Sword Fern.

The new park is located at 4545 42nd Ave SW. The vacant 6,700-square-foot site has been transformed into an urban green space in the heart of the vibrant West Seattle Junction business district.

The park represents a strong partnership between the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA) and the Junction Neighborhood Association (JuNO). It is the result of incredible fund raising efforts by the community, Seattle Parks Foundation, and funding from the Pro Parks Levy and a Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund Grant.

“The fact that we were able to achieve our fundraising goals in such a poor economic climate is a strong testament to the local support for parks and green space,” said Karen Daubert, Executive Director, Seattle Parks Foundation. “We are thankful to all the donors that helped provide this new public space for West Seattle.”

For more information please visit: http://seattle.gov/parks/ProParks/projects/JunctionPlazaDev.htm or contact Gary Gibbons, project manager at 206-386-1511 or gary.gibbons@seattle.gov.